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Mar 5, 2020

Cineplex shares tumble on short call amid Cineworld takeover

Cineplex shares tumble on short call

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Shares of Cineplex Inc. fell sharply at the start of trading Thursday after Hindenburg Research disclosed a short position on the company.

The short call comes as the Canadian movie chain’s takeover by U.K.-based Cineworld PLC moves toward the finish line after shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the transaction last month.

In a Twitter post Thursday morning, Hindenburg said the deal “could fall apart or be reduced in price materially,” noting Cineplex only trades at a 4.5-per-cent discount to the deal price.

Cineplex announced in mid-December that Cineworld had offered $2.8 billion, or $34 per share, in cash for the Toronto-based company.

Hindenburg said in one of its tweets Thursday it believes the market is “significantly underestimating [Cineworld’s] desperation” to adjust the terms or terminate the deal. The short seller is pegging the probability of the takeover going ahead as planned at 50 to 60 per cent.

BNN Bloomberg has reached out to Cineworld and Cineplex for comment on Hindenburg’s tweets.